North Central ESD implements Climate Science and NGSS Professional Learning to area educators by leveraging collaboration opportunities among NCESD staff, community-based organizations, and other regional ESDs. The collaboration efforts extend to building teams of teachers that work together to create authentic climate science experiences for their students.
Teacher Professional Learning
There are multiple opportunities throughout the year for educators to engage in climate science professional learning:
- Two STEM Seminars provided through collaboration with EarthGen (formerly Washington Green Schools) during which educators can learn from scientists about the impacts of climate science in our region and translate their learning to student engagement.
- Building on the success of the Climate Justice League program in ESD 112’s region, we are partnering with EarthGen to support a small group of teachers who want to learn more about climate science and the effects of climate change in their communities.
- Pacific Education Institute’s Solutions Oriented Learning (SOL) Storylines professional learning events allows educators to learn more about and how to use the SOL storylines to enhance theirs and their students’ climate science knowledge, determine solutions, and elevate student voice. Educators will be supported in implementation efforts of their learning.
- Area high school science teachers have worked for multiple years on developing a three year, integrated science curriculum using Ambitious Science Teaching practices. This work is nearing completion and professional learning is now being developed to facilitate the use of the curriculum across the state and beyond.
- Bringing STEAM in the Field focused on climate science impacts is an ongoing K-12 opportunity for educators throughout the region. School districts are encouraged to collaborate with their local community-based organization to get students outside for meaningful interactions with their environment. Educators are supported with guidance and connections on how to get their students outside.
At the elementary level, we are implementing new instructional materials through our STEM Materials Cooperative which supports twenty-two of our twenty-nine school districts. The Smithsonian Science for the Classroom modules were developed to meet the Next Generation Science Standards. Knowing that students develop their science identity early and that science is often only taught a few minutes per week at the elementary level, providing high quality instructional materials with intentional professional learning is critical if elementary students are to gain the foundation needed to understand the complexities of climate science at later years.
Middle School science teachers can borrow the high quality OpenSciEd curriculum through the NCESD’s equipment loan program. Any of the eight available units can be borrowed throughout the school year upon completing the professional learning module to support in their use.
At the high school level, we continue to build upon the work we began in the region around year-long high school courses. With the support of school district professional development and ClimeTime funding, the team will continue to develop course work and assessments to complete a three year high school course of study. These resources are available online through Washington’s OER Commons and are being used across the nation.
Development of NGSS-aligned Portable Assisted Study Sequence (PASS) packet units focused on physical science with climate science integration is underway. These packets will help support our state migrant population earn science credits toward graduation in an engaging, relevant, and phenomenon-based unit.
Success Stories from North Central ESD
“Right here we’re in a transition zone. This is where the shrub steppe transitions to the pine forest, and you can see a lot of space between the trees. That’s healthy!” Dave Spies led the educators of North-Central Washington on a half-mile interpretive walk through...
In the spring of 2022, Regional Science Coordinators met to reflect on Climate Literacy work completed in 2021-22. A few patterns began to emerge. The first pattern was that elementary teachers were excited to bring climate science to their classrooms, but unsure of...
Teacher Casey Jones’ family includes migrant farmworkers, whose lives are directly affected by climate change and social injustice. The students at Rowena Chess Elementary School where Casey teaches also see the effects of these twin crises in their daily lives....